Well, as February dawned and the obstacles to my writing had been cast aside: visitor’s in the house, partner out for a walk and new computer working with all its necessary software, I discovered I was facing a big white page and I was terrified. I can’t do it anymore, I was wailing.
Recently I’d preoccupied myself by analysing — looking at the structure of great novels and typing up notes for some. I took a critical look at the opening paragraph of a famous novel which was just being televised and remembered a time when I hadn’t paralysed myself with all this analysis and just wrote.
What had happened?
Stop! I had to tussle with myself, stop myself going out for some meaningful shopping and sit down with the command I gave myself to write anything, any old rubbish will do. You know it always evolves as you work, I pleaded. Don’t you remember? But although I had an emotional pull to this story and it wasn’t going away, I couldn’t see a first scene or any scene, nor could I hear my characters. The magic that I’d always experienced in the past was missing.
I shouted at myself and sat down and started working on a scene (which I promised could be rubbish) and then slowly it began to unfold before me. The Big Blank Page was beginning to have words on it and then slowly the scene had emotion and led me… and then there were pictures and I ended up with an invisible white page but a colourful (well more black and white really as I’m starting in the early 1960s) but a movie started running in my head.
There was an energy bubbling up inside me. I remembered…I was a channel not an intellectual writer getting in the way. These are not my thoughts they are thoughts and ideas that want to come out and I should let them and can feel them yes, bubbling away.
Rather than re-use that new-agey, airy-fairy kind of channel word, I’m going to rename it as my Muse. I’d forgotten it existed or had swamped it with a stock pile of negatives. And had made my writing difficult by getting in its way by over swamping it with intellectual shoulds.
Artists through the years have used different words to describe this feeling, this ability to contact the other, for example: “The music of this opera (Madame Butterfly) was dictated to me by God. I was merely instrumental in getting it on paper and communicating it to the public,’ Giacomo Puccini, said.
And although I will not use the word God, I can feel connected to another source when writing and enjoy this connection to an invisible world be it called imagination, subconscious or perhaps in my case, Muse. Welcome back my dear Muse (who had not given up on me) and goodbye to the fear of the Blank White Page.
After experiencing my joy at reuniting with my Muse, I posted to my international writing group with the hope that what I was feeling would be contagious. Miranda Morris replied with one of her delightful and thoughtful sketches, which I post below for your enjoyment. You can find more of her work on www.murmursofmole.net
I’m hoping to regain a balance between the intellect and the Muse.
And hoping… our creations weave into the fabric of our lives and not become separate objects to push family and friends away. That’s my wish for today at the start of My Year of Living Magically.